For every 10,000 site visitors, an average of 20 will use your product for at least a week. Even fewer will actually make it to the point of product adoption—when users embrace your product as their preferred solution to whatever problem your product was designed to solve.
These numbers are depressing for product managers, but just because this is the average doesn’t mean your product has to settle for only 20 out of 10,000. Instead, you can put your foot on the scale and increase your conversions 4x, all with product personalization.
Product personalization is when you use what you know about certain user segments to provide a product experience tailored to their needs. When you create a highly personalized SaaS product experience, you help users see the value your product brings to their lives more quickly, making it more likely that users will consider sticking around and adopting your product as a long-term solution to their problems.
With data practically growing on trees these days and a smorgasbord of no-code options to implement personalization, there’s never been a better time to design a personalized experience for your users and boost your retention rates. All you need to do is to take that first step, see the difference that personalization makes in improving product adoption metrics, and you’ll be hooked for life. Here are some areas in which you can start personalizing your product today.
Personalized trials demonstrate your product’s value quickly
Free trials offer a risk-free way to try out different products, but users often don’t give free trials a lot of time to win them over. Use a personalized trial to lock them into your product and stave off churn by reducing their time to value (TTV). The quicker they get to this valuable aha moment, the more likely they are to come back for more later.
The meditation app Calm is a great example of effective early personalization: its free trial asks users a quick series of questions to understand these users and why they’re trying out a meditation app.
By asking users these basic questions, Calm segments users by their goals and prior meditation experience and directs them into customized onboarding flows that emphasize precisely what those users need. This way, users immediately get relevant meditations and personalized results—an essential first step toward long-term product adoption.
The best part about this kind of personalization during onboarding is it’s easy. Users answer a few quick prompts, and you get the information you need to segment and wow them with your product’s free trial. Do a good enough job, and you just might convince them to take that next step in their product adoption journey by becoming a paid user.
Personalized messaging sends them on a relevant user journey
When you and your users are still in the “getting-to-know-you” phase of your relationship, you want to introduce what your product can do and what it can offer your users. The best way to do this is with customized flows. You can personalize what features you share with a segment of users, when you want to share them, and what messaging you’ll use to do it. This allows you to tinker with each segment’s user journey so you can optimize their first day, week, or even month to reduce churn and make it more likely users will adopt your product for the long haul.
The simple image and video editor Canva understands that specific segments of users will be using Canva in different ways. For this reason, when users sign up, Canva asks them what they plan on using Canva for, and then, depending on their answer, they send users a different modal window with information that’s important to them.
If you say you’re a teacher, Canva will tell you about its free Canva for Education program. This program helps teachers create and manage classroom materials. Many teachers may not have known about this Canva feature, and by showcasing it in this modal, it makes it easier for Canva to move K–12 teachers into a long-term relationship with its product as an integral part of how they create content for their classroom.
Whereas, if you’re a small business owner, Canva for Education wouldn’t be something you care about. Instead, Canva starts you with a modal that allows you to add your team info and sets you up with a free-to-use logo.
If you continue making a logo, Canva customizes its image editor product tour, telling you how your new logo is not at risk of copyright infringement. In this way, Canva shepherds users to features useful to them, anticipates problems they might have, and positions Canva as a product that continues to bring them value.
By understanding which people are part of your different segments and what drives them to use your product, you can optimize their journey from onboarding to product adoption. This includes:
- The initial onboarding: Which features will you highlight on Day 1 so that users can start using your product and getting value?
- Product tours: How can you customize the product tour to highlight uses specific to that segment?
- Additional aha moments: How will additional features be sprinkled in to get users to 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th aha moments?
- Messaging: What modals, emails, and push notifications will you use, and when, to spur users to log in again or continue discovering what your product has to offer?
The more you narrow in on what works for each of your user segments, the more efficiently you can improve your user retention, helping users upgrade to paid plans and avoiding early churn.
Personalized content helps retain existing users
Leveraging what you know about your users, you can create your own personalized content to delight them, whether it’s something that they’ll enjoy, something that’ll keep them safe, or even just recommendations on how to get more out of your product. The more you can personalize your content, the more it’ll help you improve customer experience, customer engagement, and the conversion rates of your product. As well, users will be reminded of why they chose you in the first place, reaffirming their choice to adopt your product as their preferred way of getting things done.
One way to use personalized content is to create something that users will enjoy based on their preferences. Perfect examples of this are Spotify’s Wrapped yearly review of users’ favorite songs or Netflix’s watching recommendations. Both of these products take user data and create a personalized piece of content that no one else can.
Personalized content can also be more practical, helping users improve how they use your product. For instance, Android alerts users to security risks that are specific to that user’s account and then gives them the instructions they need to mitigate those risks.
By including these recommendations, Android shows users that it cares about user safety and helps ensure that a cyber security incident doesn’t ruin a user’s views of Android products.
If you want to hook users for longer than a week, you’ll need to remind them of the value your product brings whenever you can. Personalized content shows users you care about helping them succeed and is a nice value add that competitors might not be willing to match.
Better product adoption rates are easier to get than you think
The biggest problem many companies face when looking at personalization in their product is deciding where to start. Luckily, it doesn’t need to be hard. It can be as simple as A/B testing a single modal in your onboarding flow and can grow from there. With a variety of no-code options out there, you don’t even need fancy and expensive developers to make the changes. All it takes is a little bit of experimentation and a can-do attitude.